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The Real Truth About Hair Growth


  1. What is ‘normal’ hair growth?
  2. Why is my hair not growing?
  3. Can hair oils and supplements really make my hair grow faster?
  4. The difference between moistured vs glossy hair

Key points

  • All hair typically grows 5-6 inches a year
  • Hypertrichosis is a condition that causes hair to grow at a much quicker rate than normal 
  • Shrinkage, hair breakage, and hair loss from big lifestyle changes can make it seem like your hair isn’t growing as much as it should
  • Hair growth is determined internally, so hair growth oils and products have a very small/no impact on hair growth compared to diet and lifestyle 
  • Supplements for hair growth should only be taken if you’ve been recommended them for a deficiency 
  • Glossy and moisturised hair are two different things, as textured hair reflects light differently to straight hair, meaning it can still be healthy and moisturised without appearing shiny

What is ‘normal’ hair growth?

As a rule of thumb, trichologist Ebuni Ajiduah suggests that all hair (regardless of texture) should grow around half an inch a month. That means your head should be growing 5-6 inches of new hair a year. However there are some things that can reduce this (which we’ll spill the tea on later). Hair growth has 3 main phases: grow, rest, and the drop-out/shedding phase. Your strands spend 80% of their time in the growing phase, and the other 20% in the rest and shedding phases. Some lucky people have a condition called hypertrichosis, which causes the hair to grow at a much quicker rate than the average person. This is all down to genetics, so beware of your favourite hair growth influencers when they promote their next miracle hair growth oil/serum on Insta…They may well have this condition!

Why is my hair not growing?

Are you seeing little to no hair growth? This could be down to a number of factors. The most obvious one is shrinkage. Textured and curly hair patterns are prone to shrinkage because the hair strand naturally contracts to form a curl coil or kink, which can make the hair seem like it’s growing slowly. Hair breakage is another reason why your hair may not appear to be growing. From regularly applying heat to the hair, and even massaging the scalp, different forms of mechanical damage can increase breakage at the ends. This can make your hair growth seem slow or stagnant, despite new hair growth constantly coming in from your roots. The most impactful reason for slow growth or even hair loss is often down to diet and lifestyle. Remember the shedding phase of your growth cycle? Big changes in your lifestyle and environment, like giving birth or an illness, can trigger this phase sooner than normal, making hair loss more prevalent. Trichologist Ebuni explains that during major lifestyle changes, your body turns off anything it deems inessential, so hair growth is always the first thing to go.

Can hair oils and supplements really make my hair grow faster?

In an ideal world, hair growth oil and supplements would sort out all of our hair woes. However trichologist Ebuni Ajiduah is cynical of how effective these things really are. Hair growth is determined internally, so hair products have a pretty small impact in the grand scheme of things, compared to your diet and lifestyle. Ebuni suggests taking hair supplements, only if you have been recommended them professionally because of a deficiency. Things like biotin (aka vitamin B7), should be approached with caution as deficiency in this is rare because it is so common to get in foods we eat on the regular. If you have a biotin deficiency it’s often down to a genetic condition, or pregnancy. It's important to get a blood test done to get to the bottom of any deficiencies (not just biotin), particularly when it comes to vitamin D and iron levels.

The difference between moistured vs glossy hair

Ever heard of the term ‘glass hair’? It’s a trend that’s recently taken the beauty and hair industry by a storm. Glass hair is super glossy and shiny hair, to the point of it being reflective like glass. Whilst it sounds amazing, it got us thinking about how this trend would affect textured hair. Ebuni explains how ‘glass hair’ is exclusionary to people with naturally textured hair. The kinks in textured curl patterns reflect light in a very different way to those with straighter hair strands. Whilst light bounces directly off the surface of straight hair, making it reflective and therefore ‘glass-like’, the kinks in textured hair cause light to be refracted off it in many different directions, causing it to appear ‘dull,’ even if it is well moisturised and healthy. Moisturised and glossy hair are therefore two very separate things in the textured hair-sphere. To test how moisturised your hair is you can do a simple strand test. Once your hair has been washed and is damp after rinsing out your products, this is when your hair should feel the most smooth and hydrated. Moisturised hair can feel different for everyone as texture comes in many different shapes and forms, so make sure to familiarise yourself with the way your hair texture feels, before doing feeling a strand to test moisturisation! 

Do you want to maximise hair growth and moisturisation, reduce breakage, or even get to the bottom of hair loss? Chat with one of our hair coaches, by booking a session with us, and we will be your guiding light to happier and healthier hair.

For our full LIVE about hair growth with trichologist Ebuni Ajiduah, watch it here:

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